DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG has acquired two developments in Clichy and AsniÃ¨res to maximise its exposure to the "emerging markets" in the north of Paris with their buoyant demand for office space.
Part of the Union Investment Group, DIFA purchased the office projects from French developer Eiffage. Both developments "known as Marco Polo and Quai 163" are due for completion shortly. The total volume of investment by DIFA amounts to some 53 million euros.
Already fully let, Quai 163 is situated on the Seine in AsniÃ¨res and forms the second investment in Paris for the DIFA Immo-Invest institutional fund. The Marco Polo building in Clichy is not yet let, but the vendor is providing a three-year rent guarantee for this addition to the internationally diversified portfolio held by the DIFA-Global open-ended real estate fund.
"Like Saint-Denis, Clichy and AsniÃ¨res are particularly promising locations along the axis between La DÃ©fense and Charles de Gaulle airport, where extensive office development is taking place," says DIFA board member Dr. Reinhard Kutscher. "Both areas benefit from rising demand primarily from French companies abandoning the high rents of the city's central business district in favour of suburbs featuring high-quality new builds and good transport links."
DIFA successfully completed a development project in Saint-Denis in December 2004 in the shape of the fully let eurostade office complex (DIFA-Fonds Nr. 1).
The Equinox office building in Clichy (DIFA-Fonds Nr. 1), completed in March 2003 and developed in conjunction with Eiffage, is likewise fully let. Equinox is occupied by mutual insurance group MMA Mutuelles du Mans Assurances. A 100 per cent letting rate has also been achieved at DIFA's third project development in Clichy, the AltaÃ¯r office building, which has been a DIFA-GRUND holding since April 2004.
"The development areas on the northern fringes of Paris offer our funds the prospect of attractive returns. Benefits such as lower rent levels and favourable property taxes in AsniÃ¨res have coincided with expansion by French financial services companies, leading us to expect further increases in desirability and value for these locations," explains Kutscher.